HAMILTON, Ohio – Chelsea Johnson's mother said Wednesday that she begged Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones to take over the two-year investigation into her 15-year-old daughter's killing, and Jones announced that his investigators are reviewing the case.
Johnson's mother she has no faith in the Fairfield police department, which has been handling the investigation since the teen was stabbed to death in 2012.
"It's not about ego or pride," Vicki Fible said Wednesday. "My daughter was 15 years old, was murdered, for what? And then two years later you still are not doing nothing?
"Obviously Fairfield police can't do it or they would've already charged him."
She was referring to George Davis II, who is in prison after he pleaded guilty to offering Johnson drugs in exchange for sex on the day she died.
Last week, Fairfield police said they know who killed Johnson, but the Butler County prosecutor indicated he needed more evidence and asked Fairfield to continue investigating.
Johnson's family then stood in front of the Butler County Government Building and her mother and grandfather expressed anger and frustration over the lack of progress.
Jones said he saw Johnson's mother on TV and had someone in his office reach out to her.
"He (Jones) said he heard my case on TV and what not and asked if there was anything he could do, and I said, 'I'm begging you for some help. Can you please help me?' " Sible said.
Jones said two years is a long time even for a murder investigation, and a fresh set of eyes might help.
Jones said he didn't worry about ruffling anyone's feathers.
"I don't always make decisions that make people happy or love me," Jones said. "I can't shoot little arrows and make people love me, but I don't know if they're angry over this or not."
Jones said he had "preliminary" discussions with the prosecutor’s office and the coroner’s office, and they were receptive to having his investigators review the case.
He said he also notified Fairfield police.
"Fairfield is a very capable police department, very talented," Jones said. "They have worked this case and I assume they are still working it, and that's fine. We're just going to take another viewpoint from a different angle."
Fairfield police responded to Jones' announcement with this statement:
"The Butler County Sheriff’s Office has informed the Fairfield Police Department that it is going to conduct a review of Chelsea Johnson’s death. Every agency involved has the objective of bringing the person responsible for her death to justice. We will continue to work together until we reach that objective."
The Fairfield teen went missing on April 15, 2012 after telling her mother she was running to a store. Her body was found the next day in a creek behind Brookfield Drive near Pleasant Avenue.
Davis is serving 32 months in prison. He was not charged in connection with her homicide.
Last week, Fairfield police officer Doug Day announced that investigators are confident they know who killed Johnson. Day said his department submitted its findings to the prosecutor about two months ago.
However, the prosecutor said more work needed to be done on the case.
“I’m not going to play hot potato with this case,” Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said. “It’s still Fairfield’s case."
Johnson's grandfather, Phil Johnson, said "something's wrong, and the family is once again caught in the middle,"
"The Fairfield Police Department is saying, yes, we have enough evidence for conviction and we're ready to name the killer, make an arrest. But the prosecution is saying, no, we don't have enough evidence ...
"I'm very frustrated, I'm mad at the world because I feel like no one is helping," he said. "Two years ... We shouldn't be arguing from the prosecutor to the police department."
Johnson's mother said the high school freshman’s death deprived the world of a caring person who loved animals and wanted to become a veterinarian.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.